What If...(Part II) My Top 10 Preferred Cities in the Philippines

My Personal "Most Livable Cities in the Philippines"

The first part of what I called my What If series was all about my top 10 alternative choices. This second part is the top 10 cities in the Philippines where I prefer to live, other than the city that I am in right now, of course. Doesn't mean I want to move to these cities but I've lived for several years in some of these cities and I can honestly say that I will not really mind if I go back and live there again.

This hub is not based on any survey or study or whatever about the most livable cities in the Philippines (I'm still trying to look for that article). This is more on personal preference. I couldn't resist writing it since it gives me another chance to showcase my country. Hope you like what I wrote.

Makati City (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=description&province=85)
Makati City (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=description&province=85)
Mandaluyong City (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=description&province=86)
Mandaluyong City (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=description&province=86)
Quezon City Memorial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quezon_City)
Quezon City Memorial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quezon_City)
The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue, Bulacan (http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/tourism/touristspotphotos.php?junid=414&id=76)
The Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa in Bocaue, Bulacan (http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/tourism/touristspotphotos.php?junid=414&id=76)
The Taal Volcano in Tagaytay (http://www.tagaytay.com/visit.htm)
The Taal Volcano in Tagaytay (http://www.tagaytay.com/visit.htm)

A Video Featuring Makati City

Makati City

The business / financial capital of the Philippines, sometimes called the "Wall Street of the Philippines". Almost all big businesses here in the country hold offices in this city. Working in this city for 5 years had made me see and appreciate the positive side of living in Makati. First of all, the career opportunities (including salary perks) for an accountant like me are numerous in Makati. Secondly, all the modern amenities in life can be found here . Food is not lacking in this area also plus the coffee shops (lots of Starbucks), the boutiques, the shopping malls, all these can be found within this city. It is also run by a good local government. What I don't like about Makati? Its very high cost of living. The rent alone here is very expensive plus all those food and clothes and gadgets, everything just costs money here.

Mandaluyong City

This is where I stayed for four out of the five years I worked in Makati. It saved me some money in terms of lower rent. I live in this apartment complex, in a one-bedroom unit and my rent was just like $120 per month. Called the "New Tiger" of the metropolis, this is a booming business center, largely due to the large establishments found in the city. There's the Megamall, which used to be the biggest mall in the country (and one of the biggest in the world) and the numerous call centers found within the city. Another thing why I chose this? I got married in the city hall of Mandaluyong, something that I'll never really forget :).

Quezon City

The former capital of the Philippines and named after the first president of the country, this is like a second home to me. I spent almost ten years living in this city. I have seen its rapid development and its rise as one of the premier cities in my country. Quezon City is home to the number one university (my alma mater) in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines. It is also home to the number two university (although it really wants to be number one, it just can't manage to go past UP), the Ateneo de Manila University. You can also find the Philippine Science High School here, which is like one of the schools where the most intelligent Filipino students study. What I like most about this place is the fiscal discipline instituted by its mayor for the past years, enabling Quezon City to go up in the rankings of Philippine cities. Having one of the best hospitals in the country (St. Luke's Medical Center) and some of the big private hospitals add to the attractiveness of living in Quezon City.

Bocaue, Bulacan

Admittedly, Bocaue, Bulacan is not a city. It is a municipality within a province, which is Bulacan. My father's birthplace and hometown, Bocaue is famous for its fireworks and the Pagoda (Feast of the Holy Cross of Wawa) parade every July, this is a simple quiet town (but it's not in the boondocks, okay?) with a lot of beautiful sights (both modern and historical), simple delicious foods, and friendly and warm people. Although it's in a province, it is only less than an hour's drive from Quezon City, so you still get to enjoy the amenities of city life while knowing you can go home to your quiet, simple life in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Tagaytay, Cavite

Home to the reputed smallest but most active volcano in the country (and in the whole world), the Taal Volcano, Tagaytay, Cavite is considered to be the second summer capital of the Philippines (next only to Baguio City in northern Luzon). The volcano and the Taal Lake, where the volcano is located, are some of the most beautiful sights in this place. You can easily view the place by staying in the hotels or eating in the restaurants surrounding the lake. Tagaytay is located 2,500 feet above sea level and has an average temperature of 22.7 degrees Celsius (less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit). It is about an hour's drive away from Manila.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapu_Lapu_shrine)
Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Cebu City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapu_Lapu_shrine)
Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City (http://www.iloilocity.gov.ph/iloiloct2009/aboutIloiloCity.php)
Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City (http://www.iloilocity.gov.ph/iloiloct2009/aboutIloiloCity.php)
A waterfall in Bukidnon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukidnon)
A waterfall in Bukidnon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukidnon)
The Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamboanga_City)
The Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamboanga_City)

Cebu City

Located in Visayas, Cebu City is called "The Queen City of the South". It is the oldest city in the county and where Ferdinand Magellan (the great explorer) first planted the Cross, making the city the seat of Christianity in the country. Cebu is one of the most progressive cities in the country. It has a historic past, a lot of historical sights, all the modern amenities in life and good educational and medical facilities. Cebu also boasts of first-class hotels and resorts. Its Sinulog Festival, held every January is one of the most famous (if not the most famous) festivals in the Philippines. Going to Cebu will be like a dream come true for me because the last time I was there was like 15 years ago and a lot of things have definitely changed since then.

Iloilo City

When I went to Iloilo and Guimaras, a nearby island known for its very delicious mangoes, I couldn't help but be struck by the beauty and simplicity of this place. With their soft sweet voices, the people of Iloilo are very friendly. The seafoods are just fabulous in this area. Iloilo has its own international airport, which is the fourth busiest airport in the Philippines. It also has its own domestic and international port and serves as a major hub area for businesses in the country.

Davao City

Need I say more? I've lived in this place for 3 years and I can honestly say that, next to Butuan, Davao is my most preferred city in the Philippines. Please visit my hub - http://hubpages.com/hub/All-About-Davao to find more about this beautiful city.


This is a landlocked city in the Bukidnon province. You can go to this place via Buda highway from Davao City. It is just two hours from Cagayan de Oro City. This is a very simple city but it is a food basket in the country. This is the preferred place for growing delicious pineapples (Del Monte has a plantation here) and export-quality cavendish bananas. To go to this place from Davao City, you have to pass by mountain areas and the view here is simply breathtaking. Since you will pass by mountains, the weather here can be quite cold (especially when it rains, brrrrrrr!), much like Baguio City. You can also find a facility here where you can buy carabao's milk (mmmmm!).

Where to Go in Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City

This is located in southern Mindanao. The first I went here was like last April and we made a 15-hour drive to this city. The local language here is called Chabacano and was derived from the Spanish language (Si Senor!). It is also called the city of flowers and Zamboanga Hermosa (the beautiful Zamboanga). It boasts of four universities, a busy city center and international airport and port area. Despite its nearness to the Basilan island (island known for terroristic activities), the city is still thriving and growing. The people here go on with their lives and make the best of everything.

That's my 10 most livable cities in the Philippines. There are a lot more beautiful places in the country but these are my most preferred ones. Thanks for reading it this far and I hope you will come and visit my beautiful country. Cheers!

Philippine map
Philippine map

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Comments 49 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I assume you've never been to Marikina? To think it's virtually just a spit away from our alma mater (go maroons!). Anyway...

Cool hub. I'm from QC originally and worked in Makati for more than a decade so I guess the list is okay with me :D

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

I've been in Marikina and I liked the place. Haven't been back for almost a decade though so I haven't really seen their changes (although I've heard a lot of it). Maybe next time I'm in Metro Manila, I'll visit the place.

Another ex-Maroon, eh? I think a lot of Filipino hubbers are also from UP. Wonder why. Thanks for the comment!

GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

What about Dagupan City, we have the tastiest bangus in the whole world, promise.

Thanks emievil for showing me the way. I'm now proud to say I'm a Filipino in world wide stage. Hehehe I hope you read my replies already in forum topic- what is the best country in the world- which is located in education. There is no place like home.

What is in your hub are sentimental favorites emievil, any city there perhaps the darhorse ones on the list to make it more interesting hehehe, but on the second thought the hub is well written and brilliant as is.

Ang ganda naman ng tuta mo, emievil, ikaw ba yan? :)

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hmmmm, haven't been to Dagupan (sorry, can only go to so many places). Maybe I can start another hub on the second 10 most preferred cities LOL.

I read your answer in the forum but didn't get to reply. I don't want them to say we're hogging that topic LOL.

Thanks for the comment. Yup, these are my personal favorites. Watch out for the next hub on this series. =)

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Enjoyable read Emie. I don't know much about the Philippines but now I know if I go on holiday, I'll be spoilt for choice for places to visit. :)

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for the wonderful comment Lady_E. Feel free to come over anytime. When you do, give me a holler so that I can join you in your holiday. LOL, haven't had one in years.

rolart25 7 years ago

tnks 4 ncludng bukidnon..............u know bukidnon is my home...........even f i stayed n cebu for 13 yrs but my heart belongs to bukidnon.......from malaybalay to valencia to maramag,,,,,u can reach pangantucan my hometown! hello guys!!!

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

thanks rolart25, I really love the weather there and the views of the mountains especially Mt. Kitanglad.

xamy 7 years ago

how about panabo city? or any city in davao del norte? it feels good to be here anyways.

GoldiString profile image

GoldiString 7 years ago

I want to go back home! This hub makes me nostalgic Emi-your-an-evil! haha! Thanks for this hub Emie. This is home.


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

You're welcome GoldiString =).

Michael 7 years ago

Yes. Makati City have it all. Very modernized city entire Philippines.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for the comment Michael.

ms. info 7 years ago

do you really travel a lot?

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Ms. Info, not much but I've been to all the cities I included in this hub.

apricotmousse profile image

apricotmousse 7 years ago

It's so expensive to live in Makati but you can find almost everything in that place. Have you been in the south side of Manila? I suggest you to go to Sta. Rosa, along Tagaytay road. The real estate industry is booming. Less pollution and lots of beautiful places to visit.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Don't tell me LOL. I worked in Makati for 5 years, 4 of those I live in Mandaluyong so I know how expensive it is. I would love to live in Tagaytay (my husband is from that area) but fate brought me back to my hometown in Mindanao.

noly 6 years ago

Iloilo Haven't "INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT" ever!!!!!! And I don't believe it was 4 busiest airport...... KALIBO is only international airport in western visayas and I believed Caticlan (boracay) airport is over 50 flights a day when it comes summer.

nike 6 years ago

bukidnon is not a city, cagayan de oro is one of the best,just visit,

mark 6 years ago

pag summer lang.

mark 6 years ago

but iloilo has a most modern airport in the philippines.5 years later by 2015 iloilo is becoming a premiere city.from now ayala and megaworld starting its project here in iloilo city..and mr.palafox is the master planner of the city..go iloilo the next big thing!!!!

rodz 6 years ago


.tall buildings?malls?....these are not the right basis....instead,.,TREES,CLEAN AIR,AND OTHER BEAUTIFUL AND NATURAL RESOURCES!!!

emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hey rodz. Haven't been to Puerto Princessa City so I can't honestly include that here if I haven't tried to live there myself.

Also as to the basis, well those are personal preferences and since I wrote this hub, mine are the only ones I included. Hope you understand that.

Arnold 6 years ago

If you want to escape the hustle & bustle of metro manila and yet be in the middle of a city with all the modern conveniences, i suggest you take a stroll around the city of sta rosa in laguna. All the major players in the residential/commercial development in the phils. are already in sta. rosa> ayala grp (nuvali, west grove, sta rosa estates, sta rosa villages, etc), villar grp, lucio tan's eton grp, greenfield, empire east/megawold grp, sta lucia, etc. Reputable schools like la salle, st scho, don bosco, xavier (under construction), ust (soon to be built) and the ateneo graduate school. Sta rosa boasts of the enchanted kingdom, malls (sm, robilnsons, "outlet stores heaven" paseo de sta rosa, solenad, waltermart, etc), supermarkets (rustan's, sm, robinsons, waltermart,south, etc.) banks, hospitals, etc. there's plenty of work too in sta rosa> car makers like ford, toyota, honda, nissan, isuzu; coca cola; monde nissin; chip makers/semi conductor; toshiba; hitachi; national panasonic; call centers; and the list goes on and on. The most exciting and ambitious developments are the ayala's nuvali "green living" city, lucio tan's eton city and the campos' (unilab) greenfield city. Both nuvali and eton have man-made lakes and rivers. So, please try to visit at least the paseo de sta rosa-nuvali area and you'll be hooked to sta rosa...

max 6 years ago

Why don't you try...Bacolod?..It recently topped a survey by a magazine, whose name i forgot, as the ''best city to live in the Philippines''..less traffic, less pollution in a first class highly urbanized city with a booming economy...

Van 6 years ago

well they forgot to put Cagayan De oro City... 1 of the fastest growing economic city...

florence 6 years ago

i think laoag city is one of those, because comparing to other cities., ,it has a unique ambiance,,theres no squaters, and the human development index are very high.many tourists and journalists has been proved the beauty of laoag is truly different from others

Rain 6 years ago

Iloilo the is Booming.....

Cebubai 5 years ago

@ Van of CdO: Wag ipilit ang city mo that has no sense, Ive been there before and i was expected a lot from f***n city, but its really disappointing me when i got there. Ang baho, daming basura, kalsada pa hay naku! Ive been to other cities in the Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon but no way to Cagayan de Oro!

Dave 5 years ago

I'm from Canada but one of the city i like more is Davao City . Peaceful and most of all its the only city in asia who have 911 all are free from charges the people in Davao they don't pay anything for the service according to Davao City government . The 911 Davao have all the department EMT,FIRE,RESCUE,POLICE,CALL CENTER,Disaster response team,Medical team and K9 and they do also free clinic,medical check upand some reach out program....very nice

Johnno 5 years ago

Which city do you think is the best for students

gaitan ronie 5 years ago

just try to stay in what they call "the City of Smiles"...and you never regret you'd stay there...it's wonderful there

amiel bona 5 years ago

you calamba city is also good and still have many trees that help the eco system

joford tapia 5 years ago

I'm in riyadh saudi for almost five years, I can say that bukidnon is one of the best and its nearest to perfection when it comes to the views and products,I'm happy that bukidnon is included in the list because I'm a pure son of Damulog,Bukidnon...

fraiz 5 years ago

Let's travel to Zamboanga Sibugay... Don't you think it is a sort of beautiful sceneries to opt and post it on internet? Oh. try and come to visit our province.. yes it is a province but full of natural resources and views......

jam 5 years ago


flor 5 years ago

laoag one of the most beautiful city

everything u need is already here

FLORINDA 5 years ago

The most beautiful place we ever been is in palawan and its like paradise wen you get there.try it and see for urselves

Me, Myself, & I 5 years ago

how about LAS PINAS??????

joe acyapas jr 5 years ago

...how about baguio city???

albertert14 5 years ago

davao d best!

Arven 5 years ago

Taal is in Batangas.

lzlpio90 profile image

lzlpio90 5 years ago

Davao is included!:D FYI, davao is not only livable but, it's also the safest city in the philippines...

jeffrey 5 years ago

i object this informatin..

Leah 5 years ago

Davao is the SAFEST? i dont think so, it just said to be most in the blog that people in davao are still imprisoned with their fear of being misidentity for killing.. specially if you wander at night.. so bad..

Daniel 5 years ago

yeah Davao is the safest...

ritz 5 years ago

Try to search cagayan de oro as it is known a city of golden friendship ....

anje.. 4 years ago

yeah i agree with you ritz that Cagayan de Oro City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Phils. and most visited by tourists as recorded in the arrivals of tourists in the city. Furthermore, people are friendly as the city is dubbed as the "City of Golden Friendship" through people's genuine treatment to local and foreign visitors in the city. In addition, the city provides high class malls and hotels where the tourists will enjoy their visit and vacation in the city. This is not just hype...Those are all true about Cagayan de Oro City...

glen 4 years ago

:) looks like you really enjoyed your life, city hopping..:) as much as i enjoyed reading your page..

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